/kawn'sep syawn"/; Eng. /keuhn sep'see ohn", -sep"sheuhn/, n.1. a city in central Chile, near the mouth of the Bío-Bío River. 196,000.2. a city in central Paraguay, on the Paraguay River. 19,200.
* * *City (pop., 2002 prelim.: 371,000), capital of Bío-Bío region, south-central Chile.One of Chile's largest cities, it was founded in 1550 on the Pacific coast, where it was twice burned by Araucanian Indians. It has also been struck by numerous earthquakes, two of which were followed by tsunamis, and in 1754 it was moved inland to its present site near the mouth of the Bío-Bío River. Despite its severe seismic activity, it has become a major commercial and industrial centre and a distribution point for southern Chile. Local industries include textiles, food products, and steel.
* * *▪ Chilein full Concepción de la Madre Santísima de la Luzcity, south-central Chile. Concepción lies near the mouth of the Bío-Bío River. One of Chile's largest cities, it was founded in 1550 on the site of what is now Penco and was shortly afterward burned twice by Araucanian Indians. It was struck by numerous earthquakes, two of them followed by tidal waves (1730, 1751), and in 1754 it was moved inland to its present site, 6 miles (10 km) from the river's mouth and 43 feet (13 m) above sea level.Concepción has become a major commercial and industrial centre due to particular site advantages. Concepción Bay, to the north, is large and protected; and the Bío-Bío River provides a corridor through the coastal mountains to the Central Valley region where agricultural and forest industries are well developed. The river's volume and hydroelectric potential are ample for the region's foreseeable requirements. Most of Chile's coal is mined south of the city in Arauco Bay. The railway serving the major mines ends in Concepción, as do the railways that follow the Bío-Bío and Itata rivers into the interior. The Itata railway links the industrial and resort towns on the eastern shore of Concepción Bay, while a local railway serving the southwestern side of the bay joins the outport of Talcahuano (q.v.), Huachipato, and San Vicente with Concepción. San Vicente is both a resort and a source of fresh and preserved seafood for Santiago, the nation's capital, 260 miles (420 km) northeast. The Huachipato steel mill (operational since 1950), a petroleum refinery (1966), and the San Vicente chemical complex (established in the early 1970s) were major additions to Concepción's industries, which include textiles, food processing, woodworking, glassmaking, and brewing. A paper factory and a cotton mill lie on the river shore. Concepción is an episcopal see and the seat of an appellate court and has a university founded in 1919. Pop. (2002) city, 212,003; urban agglom., 666,381.▪ Paraguaytown, north-central Paraguay. It lies on the east bank of the Paraguay River. Founded in 1773, it was the base of operations for the entire Chaco Boreal region of Paraguay. It is a transportation hub from which roads run in several directions; the General-Bernadino Caballero highway extends to Pedro Juan Caballero and to Brazil. The navigable Paraguay River creates commercial shipping activity in the town's port. The town contains sawmills, flour mills, cotton gins, sugar and castor-oil refineries, and tanneries that process hides from cattle raised in the region. Concepción is also a free port for trade with Brazil. As seat of the bishop of the Chaco, it is a religious centre and has a Catholic Salesian school and church. Concepción is connected by air to Asunción, the national capital. Pop. (2002) urban area, 43,661.
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